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Magnificent Obsession

This is a model of the Royal Navy Battle Cruiser – HMS Hood.

Now take a closer look.


  1. RAB says:

    Hells teeth! the stuff you can do with Lego since my day.

    I had an Airfix model of the Hood, and a Bismark of course, oh and the Ark Royal.

    The Hood was a beautiful ship. Had a really beautiful shaped keel.

    One thing I have never done, and would very much like to, is to go round a Battleship of that size. It must be awsome.
    Anyone know if there are any left?

  2. Nick M says:

    HMS Belfast in London is a cruiser… I think the Iowa class ships are being prepared for static display in the US though.

  3. Sunfish says:

    Three of the Iowa-class are museum ships, in Pearl Harbor, Norfolk, VA, and Camden, NJ. USS Iowa is docked in California and is not open to the public.

    USS Texas is also a museum, in Houston. Wikipedia says she’s the only remaining WWI battleship, or at least the only one in the US.

  4. RAB says:

    Thanks lads.
    Looks like I should elbow Italy for America this year, whatever the exchange rate.

  5. Nick M says:

    And the reason Iowa is not open ot the public is that I sit there in a Mao suit with my cat.

    No Meester RAB – I expect you to die!

    I really should’t say these things so openly but I wouldn’t be a proper Bond villian otherwise…

    My plan was to demand 100 billion Swiss Francs or I’d unleash financial chaos upon the World and then they did it all by themselves. Bastards!

  6. HSLD says:

    An RAF ditty of the time – ” Bring on the Nelson, the Rodney, Reknown – they can’t sink the Hood ’cause the bastard’s gone down ”
    Black humour in a time of national crisis…..

  7. RAB says:

    Ahhh! So you have control of the Iowa eh?!
    We thought as much you dastardly bastard!

    But if I have got this right, if I use a parachute that comes out of my wristwatch and the power pack in my Jermain St hand made shoes, to gently float down upon the ship and foil your evil plans, then I will be confronted by the torture of having to get captured, instead of killed on the spot!
    By big fit birds bearing Cocktails!

    These, I will have to endure for the rest of the movie, being inebriated and fellated by big bosomed women!
    Until the time comes for me to get out of bed and blow everything up!

    Where do I sign?

  8. A wonderful scale model.

    It brings a lump to the throat to recall that this wonderful battleship went down with all but three hands after a broadside from the Bismarck.

    May they all rest in peace.

  9. El Draque says:

    Thanks for posting the pic. That really takes obsession to make.
    I also had the Airfix Hood, the Bismarck, the Nelson (sister to the Rodney) and the aircraft carrier Victorious. Didn’t know there was an Airfix Ark Royal, RAB. Maybe there wasn’t back then.
    I did try the tasteless exercise of positioning Bismarck at one end of the lawn and Hood at the other, then slipping a firework – a banger – into Hood. Yes, it disintegrated.
    It was suggested in 1947 or so that the Warspite should be kept as a relic of the time of the battleships. Decision – no.
    Pity – it would have been a great sight beside the Victory and the Warrior.
    Warspite had the distinction of the furthest range for a hit from a moving platform, to a moving target. 22,000 yards, I think, in the Med. All done with mechanical predictors. Some achievement.
    Finally: there’s an apochryphal story around the Navy, that in about 1980, someone was checking the stores records and found that they were holding an awful lot of parts that hadn’t moved for decades. Investigation showed it was a spare engine for HMS Hood. Maybe it had been intended for the sister ship that wasn’t built.

  10. Nick M says:

    I saw an interview with a Hood survivor. I was truly humbled. I think what kept him sane was that his survival was not just unlikely but staggeringly unlikely. So unlikely that he wasn’t torturing himself about the ifs and what might have beens and he had no idea why he survived. Maybe it makes it easier.

    It is obsession but the result is magnificent. And the result has given pleasure to so many people that obsession crosses over into rationality. For me that is almost a definition of greatness. I’m sure in the 1890s a lot of folk scoffed at Orv and Will… If they weren’t dead I could be in KittyHawk, SC, tomorrow to show those doubters…

    Much though I love battleships it was the Smithsonian A&S Museum (DC & Virginia) that fried my onions. And Duxford…. I now have to make the pilgrimage to USAF Museum Dayton, OH. There they have the Wright Flyer and the only surviving XB-70 Valkyrie. Quite possibly the most awesome thing that ever flew with the exception of the Saturn V.

  11. RAB says:

    You are more than likely right El,
    I plucked the name Ark Royal from the air, for an example of aircraft carriers.
    It could well have been the Victorious.

    I see you decommissioned yours, the same way I did mine.
    Around 14 or so girls become cool, not Airfix kits so…

    Yep the Brocks Bangers messed them up a whole bit!

    But then we went a bit further.

    We set light to the remnants, melted them down, and poured them over an ants nest.

    Yes a ritual sacrifice of us males on the cusp of childhood and eternal childhood 😉

    Was made.

    Comon baby light my fire!
    our love could be a funeral pyre!
    Yuck!( the sentiment not the song)

    And poor ants!
    What had they done, except to be boring communists/fascists?

    Sometimes, I think my instincts, as a kid, were way ahead of my understanding 😉

  12. El Draque says:

    Nick M,
    A close call between the Valkyrie and the SR71 Blackbird, I reckon . . . .

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